“From the Day We Arrive [at Disney]…”

And at last I have arrived in Florida, preparing to begin my summer working for Walt Disney World, and doing ministry with Cru! It took weeks of preparing myself mentally and spiritually, and it all climaxed the morning I traveled to Florida. The day started with a text at 4:30 AM from my airline, “Your flight has been delayed two hours.” Texas had received torrential downpours and flooding the night before, so it was no surprise that a delay had come, however it meant unless my connecting flight got delayed as well, I would miss it. The odds of a delay seemed good to me, so I went back to sleep for a little while longer until my parents drove me to the airport and saw me off. I felt like a slightly nervous ball of energy, but I made it through security and got to my gate, obsessively checking on my connecting flight, praying for a delay. It sadly didn’t come. My first and second flights left at the same time, and I gradually began to accept the fact that I would either be three or six hours late to the project depending on the availability of flights. I was stressed, to say the least.

So what was the first thing I did when I landed? Got Starbucks. If I was going to deal with a crisis such as this, I was going to need to be caffeinated. Hazelnut latte in hand, I stood in a forever long line, anxiously waiting to be put on standby for the next flight- the one that would get me their only three hours late. Once that was accomplished, I sat in a chair in a crowded room and tried not to have an anxiety attack. I’d never traveled by myself before, and while I knew what I was doing, I had no one with me to comfort me, or confirm that I was making the right decision. Two hours went by slowly, and I nervously checked Facebook, got lunch, and checked Facebook again, until finally the flight was boarding. I got up and anxiously stood right  in front of the counter as if it would magically help me get on the flight, and prayed silently over and over again, “God please let me on, please let me on, please let me on….” I was about to give up hope when at last, five minutes before take-off was scheduled, my name was called and I boarded the flight. Right from the beginning of the trip God showed His faithfulness to me.

After I got on the plane I began to relax, and the excitement of the trip started to really hit me. I was going to Florida. I was working at Disney World! I pulled out my iPad and began watching Frozen, signing along to all the songs (in my head, I’m not crazy), and thinking about how I was going to Disney World “For the First Time in Forever,” and how I was “Letting Go” of all my anxiety and enjoying the last moments of the trip. By the time I got off the plane, I was ready for the summer. There was still one problem, however. I wasn’t sure my bag had made it on the flight. I had an extra pair of clothes in my carry on, so I would be okay if it hadn’t made it immediately, but even so, I went to the baggage claim and prayed again, “God please let my bag come through, please let my bag come through…” Barely five minutes later it popped through onto the conveyor belt! I could scarcely believe my luck; God is so good!

Shortly thereafter I was picked up and brought to the place we were staying, the second to last person on the trip to arrive. I managed to grab a bit of food before we were rounded up for our first activity of the summer: a scavenger hunt in Downtown Disney! We were split into different groups named after Disney sidekicks (mine was Team Pascal, the best) and told to recreate a series of photos posted on Instagram by our trip staff. No one else in our group regularly used Instagram, so I was nominated as the member to post. I posted more pictures that one night than I have to far in 2015. Sorry if you follow me on Instagram.

It was really crazy; we didn’t know where anything was, so we spent most of our allotted time walking around aimlessly, hoping to stumble onto something familiar. Team Pascal didn’t win, sadly, but we had a blast getting to know each other and asking strangers to take embarrassing pictures of us. Most of our activities since then have been more getting-to-know-yous, as well as Spiritual Training for the evangelism we will do this summer. Overall, it has been a blast meeting everyone on this trip and spending time with the Lord, and I can’t wait to continue doing both of those things!

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